Sam Darnold Trade Rumors: Jets GM Joe Douglas Could Be 'Swayed' by Offers for QB

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

FILE - New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold rolls out to pass against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. The 23-year-old quarterback was considered an untouchable player on the roster only a year ago. General manager Joe Douglas has backed off that stance, though, and it could signal a major change at the position as free agency and the NFL draft approach. “I will answer the call if it's made,” Douglas said Wednesday, March 3, 2021, when asked if he'd listen to offers for Darnold from other teams. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

It appears New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas is yet to make a decision about the team's long-term future at quarterback. 

Peter King of NBC Sports reported Douglas could be "swayed" in one direction or another by the offers from other teams for Sam Darnold. It's unclear what the Jets may be looking for in order to trade Darnold, their 2018 first-round pick.

The Jets have the second overall pick in April's draft and will have their choice of Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance if they want after the Jacksonville Jaguars presumably draft Trevor Lawrence with the top pick. Wilson has increasingly established himself as the second-best quarterback in this class, so the Jets' decision will likely come down to their evaluation of Wilson against Darnold.

Wilson has every physical tool a quarterback could want, with his combination of arm strength and ability to scramble out of the pocket even drawing some lofty comparisons to Patrick Mahomes. There is no world in which Darnold, on his best day, could generate Mahomes comparisons.

The Jets also have not seen much of Darnold's bests days, with the USC product flailing through his first three NFL seasons. Darnold is 13-25 as a starter and has graded as one of the NFL's worst quarterbacks, both in terms of standard counting stats and advanced metrics.

Football Outsiders' metrics have ranked Darnold no better than 30th among qualifying quarterbacks in his first three seasons. The only qualifying quarterback with worse numbers last season was Carson Wentz, who at least has previous history of success.

While a team may understandably want to buy low on Darnold, banking on the Jets' inability to acquire skill-position talent and poor coaching, it's unlikely they'll be willing to offer up much more than a conditional mid-round pick.